Scythe Strategy and Planning (+Scythe-960)

My thoughts on Scythe strategy. Also expanded to include updates on my foray into randomly generating more Scythe content...
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Part 3: Your Midgame Production Plan

John Martorana
United States
New York
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(Part 1 Here)
(Part 2 Here)

OK. So you've got a general plan to move on to a Village and a plan to pull the workers off the Village. Exactly how many workers will you need and where will you put them? Ideally, you'll have an idea before you even move on to the Village in the first place.

So the first step is to look at your Player Mat and your starting location to determine out what goods you're going to be producing. Figure out what 2 to 3 BRA (Bottom Row Action) Stars you plan to earn. You'll almost always need to earn the Star for whatever BRA is either under Produce or Trade. Possibly both. Otherwise, every top row action taken to obtain goods will not be spending them on BRAs, leading to a lot of dead turns.

You'll need to see if you have access to Oil and wish to get a Star for upgrades. If so, you may be able to get away with fewer workers. If not, you'll probably be doing 2 or 3 upgrades anyway, if only to make your Move, Bolster, and Produce actions more efficient. Are you going to get a Star for Build? If so, you'll want to aim to build your Mill early. Ideally, you want to focus on BRAs that earn you lots of coins, but actually this is a secondary consideration. Mostly, you want to make sure you can afford to take BRAs every turn.

So you take all this information, and you look at how much your BRAs cost. Imagine your Production cycle where you do one of each. It might be something like Produce-Bolster-Trade for 3 Stars, where you plan to sit tight until you've maxed power early on. Or maybe Produce-Move for 2 Stars where you plan to get to the Factory early, move your Mechs a lot and earn 2 Combat Stars and complete an Objective Card. Look at how much that costs right now and after a couple upgrades.

A 3-Action Cycle will cost 6 to 8 resources after a few Upgrades. So with 5 Workers and possibly a Mill, a Produce-Trade-X cycle will be able to use BRAs every turn, assuming you position your Workers correctly. (This is a big part of why 5 workers is often most efficient). A Produce-X cycle with 5 Workers will usually generate enough Resources for both BRAs. On the off chance you think you can earn Stars for all 4 BRAs, 5 Workers is often still enough because you will ultimately be upgrading 6 times.

Bear in mind that you may need a little finesse to get to the point where you use a BRA every turn. If your Upgrade is under Trade then your cycle might start Produce-Trade(Upgrade)-Produce-X once or twice before settling down to Produce-Trade-X. Similarly, if you are Producing Oil, and upgrade is under X, you might do Produce-X(Upgrade)-Produce-Trade one or twice before settling in to Produce-X-Trade.

Under ideal conditions, you'll complete all your BRA stars one turn after another, taking each action exactly 4 times. Note that Upgrade action take 6 BRAs for the Star. But if you consider that you were likely getting at least 2 early upgrades at some point anyway, it works out to about the same timing.

Picking up from where I ended in Part 2 with the Nords and the Agricultural Mat, I've got:

A Mill on Oil
4 Workers and a Speed Mech on the Village
1 Worker on a Mountain (Steel)
1 Steel and 2 Oil in the bank.
Move and Deploy Upgraded
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I decide that I want to get Stars for Upgrade, and Build. Right now, that costs 9 Goods total to do one of each. Even with the Mill, I know I'll need at least one more Upgrade to do these seemlessly (6 Goods from Produce and 2 From Trade each cycle).

My next few Turns might look like this:

8. Move so that I have:
- 3 Workers on Forrest (Wood)
- 1 Worker + Mill on Oil
- 1 Worker on Mountain (Steel);
Upgrade Produce-->Build Mine
9. Produce (Woodx3, Steel, Oilx2); Build
10. Move; Upgrade Bolster-->Build
11. Trade (Steelx2); Deploy

I've primed my production cycle with a Move(Upgrade)-Produce-Move(Upgrade)-Trade Cycle. I can now pretty much stick to performing BRAs every turn if I want.

Now, I'm not saying that this is necessarily the BEST choice of my next actions in every game with this Faction/Player Mat combination. By this point in the game, a lot has happened and you have other information. Opponents have moved. You have had one or more Encounters. In the actual game I played, I took a different path and chose to take some partially-dead turns by Bolster/Enlisting early that this even though I doubted I could complete the Star for Enlist. As much as Sycthe is a Race to 6 Stars, I needed Popularity, Power, and Combat Cards. I didn't want to ignore my Objective Cards and you can never afford to ignore the other players. More on those considerations in Part 4...

(Part 4 Here)
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